[ si-duhk-shuhn ]
/ sɪˈdʌk ʃən /
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an act or instance of seducing, especially sexually.
the condition of being seduced.
a means of seducing; enticement; temptation.
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Also se·duce·ment [si-doos-muhnt, -dyoos-]. /sɪˈdus mənt, -ˈdyus-/.

Origin of seduction

1520–30; <Latin sēductiōn- (stem of sēductiō) a leading aside, equivalent to sēduct(us) (past participle of sēdūcere to seduce) + -iōn--ion

Words nearby seduction

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does seduction mean?

Seduction is the act of making someone want to engage in sexual activity with you, especially in a subtle or manipulative way.

Seduction is also commonly used in a more general way meaning the act of tempting or influencing someone to do something, especially something bad or something they wouldn’t normally do. Though this sense of the word does not involve sex, it’s still often thought of as a metaphor for the type of seduction that does.

Both senses of the word often imply a subtle manipulation in which one’s motives are hidden.

Seduction is the noun form of the verb seduce. People or things that seduce or that are capable of seduction are said to be seductive.

Example: Don’t be fooled by his charm and his seduction—he only wants one thing.

Where does seduction come from?

The first records of the word seduction come from the 1520s. It ultimately comes from the Latin verb sēdūcere, meaning “to lead aside.” (The root dūcere also forms the basis of words like induce, produce, and reduce.) The verb seduce is recorded earlier, in the 1470s, and its original use referred to persuading a soldier or servant to desert or change sides. From there, it began to be used in a more general way to refer to influencing someone to do something wrong. Only later did it come to be used in reference to making someone want to have sex.

Today, this is the most commonly used meaning of seduction—and the meaning that’s associated with just about every use of the word, even when it is used more generally. James Bond is notorious for his seduction of women. This type of seduction is typically thought to be achieved by making yourself irresistible through the way you act or the things you say.

The more general sense of seduction involves leading someone astray or luring them in. The goal is typically to get them to do something corrupt or at least something they wouldn’t normally do. In Star Wars, villains are always using the art of seduction to try to get people to cross over to the dark side. But it’s not only people who seduce. Sometimes, a person is said to have been lured by the seduction of money or success. Advertising is sometimes described as a form of seduction with the goal of persuading people to buy a product.

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms of seduction?


What are some synonyms for seduction?

What are some words that share a root or word element with seduction


What are some words that often get used in discussing seduction?


How is seduction used in real life?

Seduction often has a somewhat negative connotation that implies that such actions are devious and manipulative. It’s very commonly used in reference to sex, but it’s also commonly used in a general way.



Try using seduction!

Is seduction used correctly in the following sentence?

His seduction is based on lies and empty promises.

How to use seduction in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for seduction

/ (sɪˈdʌkʃən) /

the act of seducing or the state of being seduced
a means of seduction
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012